MERU, November 27 – The Meru District Hospital faces closure after its water supply was disconnected over a Sh13 million debt.
The hospital’s Board met on Tuesday and announced that it would not admit new patients until the water which was disconnected by the Meru Water and Sewerage Services Company is restored.
The mortuary would also not take in bodies for preservation, the hospital Board’s Vice Chairman Bishop Edward Kirimi Buuria said, adding that there was a looming epidemic since the more than 500 in patients have not bathed for the past five days.
“The worst situation is for the bed-ridden patients. Some patients are sleeping on mattresses without beddings. The sanitation situation in their lavatories is pathetic,” he said.
The hospital’s public health staff have been ordered to stay vigilant to avert a possible epidemic. Bishop Buuria added that only theatre linen had been cleaned causing a pileup of the hospitals’ unclean laundry.
Flanked by the institution’s superintendent Dr Justus Ngatia, Bishop Buuria said the hospital was overwhelmed by the high bill and questioned how the water company had arrived at the Sh20,000 daily bill.
Doctors and nurses had threatened to down their tools protesting lack of surgical gloves and water, prompting the Board to procure water and beg for gloves from a nearby hospital.
“We sought the assistance of the friends of the hospital to get gloves worth Sh40,000. The relevant authorities have abandoned this hospital”, said Rev Buuria, who appealed to the Minister for Medical Services to intervene and restore order at the hospital.
Meru District Hospital which was built in the 1930s is the largest referral medical institution in the entire upper Eastern region serving all the eight Meru districts and Moyale, Isiolo and Marsabit districts and is visited by about 320 out patients daily, and admitting about 580.
Area Member of Parliament Silas Muriuki raised the issue in Parliament on Tuesday saying many patients were now turning to private institutions or herbalists.